Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers, Two-Volume Set (Hardcover)
On September 11, 1857, a group of Mormons aided by Paiute Indians brutally murdered some 120 men, women, and children traveling through a remote region of southwestern Utah. Within weeks, news of the atrocity spread across the United States. But it took until 1874--seventeen years later--before a grand jury finally issued indictments against nine of the perpetrators. Mountain Meadows Massacre chronicles the prolonged legal battle to gain justice for the victims. The editors of this two-volume collection combed public and private manuscript collections across the United States to reconstruct the complex legal proceedings that occurred in the massacre's aftermath. The documents they unearthed, transcribed and presented here, cover a nearly forty-year history of investigation and prosecution--from the first reports of the massacre in 1857 to the dismissal of the last indictment against a perpetrator in 1896. Volume 1 tells the first half of the story: the records of the investigations into the massacre and transcriptions of all nine indictments, eight of which never resulted in a trial conviction. Volume 2 details the legal proceedings against the one man indicted to go to trial, John D. Lee. Lee's trials led to his confession and conviction, and ultimately to his execution on the massacre site in 1877, all documented in Volume 2. Historians have long debated the circumstances surrounding the Mountain Meadows Massacre, one of the most disturbing and controversial events in American history, and painful questions linger to this day. This invaluable, exhaustively researched collection allows readers the opportunity to form their own conclusions about the forces behind this dark moment in western U.S. history.